Inside the Cocoon For Now

It’s my girl’s birthday.  Commence the partying!

A week or so ago, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday.

(well, within reason, you know)

I batted around a couple of things that she’s enjoyed before.  Magazine subscription.  Shoes.  Clothes.

Nothing was resonating with her.

She just shrugged.

Well okay, technically the shrug was in my mind because we were texting and on the phone, but yeah, pretty sure she shrugged.  I have known her for nineteen years now.

“I don’t know.  I don’t have a clue.”

I told her that was okay.

“No. It’s not.  I don’t like that I don’t know myself.”

The words that came to me came instantly.

“It’s hard to pin down a moving target.”

I don’t know where those words came from but they just made sense.

After all, in the past two, four years my girl has grown by leaps and bounds.  She’s been forced to by life and death, and she’s made choices on her own that required a level of maturity that I can hardly fathom.

And then there are moments that I realize she’s still my girl.  When we laugh together over a memory or something that just happened.  When she complains about my helicopter parenting or I turn my head so I don’t have to look in her room.  When we sit and talk for hours or volley messages back and forth.  She’s still my girl, and yet she’s so much more.

It makes sense that she has a hard time figuring out her likes and dislikes and preferences and favorite things right now.  She’s growing and changing, and it absolutely makes sense that as she changes, so might all of those things.

A sweet friend shared a quote tonight from Maya Angelou.

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That right there.  My sweet girl, it’s okay that you don’t know what you want.  That’s absolutely wonderful.  You are growing, changing, transforming.  From one beautiful creature to another.  I am sure if you asked the caterpillar what she wants and then asked the butterfly, they would be quite different.  The butterfly doesn’t need several pairs of shoes at one time and the caterpillar doesn’t need wing cleaner.  But they are one and the same.

And, I’m just guessing here, when the precious creature is at her innermost changing tucked inside her cocoon, if someone asked her what she wanted, she’d very likely say, “I don’t know. It’s like I don’t even know who I am.”

Tonight I’m thankful for words that come into my head and show up on my Facebook feed just when I need them most.  I’m thankful for growing and changing and beauty all around, as scary and hard as it might be to see when we’re in the middle of it.

Here’s to my girl and all of those like her, those who are in the midst of transforming.  I cannot wait to see what all of you beautiful people become next.

Love to all.

 

Don’t Stop Believing…..Faithfully

We’re running a little late tonight, as we usually do on Sunday nights.  My oldest is in the shower, and she has her music playing in the background as she always does.

Only tonight it’s different.  Tonight it’s special music playing.  The same music she’s been playing all day.  Music from the Glee soundtracks.

Aub is sad and lost today.  My girl has had a lot of loss  in her young life–her Papa, her Cap, her Maemae, and her two great-grandmothers.  She knows life isn’t always about answered prayers and happy endings.  She’s way too young to know these things, but she knows them anyway.

But tonight her heart is breaking in a different way.  A young actor, someone she never met, has died.  She didn’t know him personally, but she felt as though she did, as he was a star in a show she’s only recently found and watched–Glee.  This has broken my girl in ways that I can only imagine.  It’s the first time someone young that she felt a connection to has died, and it’s just hard.

I remember very well August 16, 1977.  For whatever reason I was the one to hear the breaking news about the death of Elvis Presley.  I went in the kitchen where Mama was cooking supper and told her.  She thought I was kidding.  When I assured her I was not, a hush came over both of us.  I was sad.  While Elvis was not related to us, it sure felt like he was.  Daddy had so many of his albums and we watched his movies when they came on TV.  After I told Mama, it was time for me to go out and prepare the bottle for my calf and go feed him.  I remember how dark and unsafe the world suddenly felt when I went to the shed for the bottle and formula.  My world was shattered in a strange way.

I know this today has shaken the sense of immortality for more than just my girl.  There is a family and a young woman who loved this young man and whom he loved.  There are friends and co-workers and people who knew him in passing.  And there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, who “knew” him through his show, who will miss him and grieve this loss in their own way.

He played a fictional character.  I know that.  But this grief is real, not disenfranchised.  Tears have been cried under my very own roof.  And as police and investigators try to make sense of what seems to be a senseless death, the grief will continue.

I’m sorry, baby girl.  It’s a broken world.  Not much makes sense anymore, especially not Death and who it claims when.  I don’t know how to help you through this except to say, I love you and I will listen.  And maybe, just maybe, I will sit and watch a marathon of these shows with you.  In memory of a talented young actor and to do what we all do when Death creeps in and reminds us of how fragile it all is–to huddle close and love each other.

Hoping that light and peace beyond all understanding will reach those who are grieving and mourning tonight.  Tonight I leave you with something my girl sent me with this message: “Indulge me, I’m grieving.”  A talented young man is gone, may he rest in peace.